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Rachel Carbonneau

Founder & CEO | Birth & Postpartum Doula | Childbirth Educator | Placenta Encapsulator | Birth/Midwife's Assistant | Reiki Master

Rachel Carbonneau - Headshot1.jpg

I can't remember a time when I was not passionate about family issues, and particularly family health. I had my first child at a young age, and found the perinatal landscape entirely bewildering. Mostly alone, I had no idea what was happening to me and my baby, or how to provide for him once he was born (and later, when he was quite sick). The experience strengthened my desire to support others who find themselves similarly lost at the hands of an impersonal medical institution. ​

I am committed to helping families access evidence-based information for informed decision-making, and to helping improve the birth experience for all families. I serve families of all types, and I specialize in trauma-informed care, bereavement support, disability advocacy, and neurodivergence, Additionally, I am conversant in Spanish, French, and American Sign Language (ASL).  

The journey into familyhood should be a time of joy, love, and familial and community support. I founded Family Ways with the intention to help bring such an experience to any individual and family who wants and needs it, and to strengthen the family bond—no matter what shape the family takes. I am honored to have been able to share in the lives of so many beautiful families, if for just this one crucial moment.

Work Experience

2013-present

Family Ways LLC

2010-2013

Independent Doula

2009-2018

Dept. of Homeland Security

As the founder of Family Ways, I lead our dynamic team, support families as a birth doula (and occasionally in postpartum), teach childbirth classes, offer lactation support, and perform community outreach and advocacy. 

I started as a doula supporting a dear friend and single-mom-by-choice who was planning for her first birth on her own. From there, I served her friends, and their friends, and so on... until I decided to establish the Family Ways team. 

I worked for the Federal government as a writer/editor, management & program analyst, and eventually the agency's Records Officer. This work spoke to my nerdiness but not my passions; I left to doula full-time  

Professional Training

June 2022

July 2021

January 2021

November 2019

November 2018

April 2016

November 2015

March 2014

March 2014

December 2013

Certified Postpartum Doula 

DONA International

Certified Maternal Child Community Health Worker
[lifetime certification]

Commonsense Childbirth Institute

Certified Lactation Educator [lifetime certification]

Commonsense Childbirth Institute

Certified Evidence Based Birth® Instructor [renewed annually - present]

Evidence Based Birth

Training: "When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Trauma and Sexual Abuse on the Childbearing Woman"

Penny Simkin

End-of-Life Doula Training

International End-of-Life Doula Association (INELDA)

Birth/Midwife's Assistant Training 

Training: "Rebozo Connection" 

The Gena Kirby Method

Certified Birth Doula [renewed 2017, 2020, 2023]

DONA International

Certified Bradley® Instructor [renewed annually - present]

American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth

Arné S., Germantown MD

​"There aren't enough words to describe the unforgettable fantastic experience that I had with Rachel!! [...] She was great with involving my fiancé and was not overwhelming with her presence; she leaves room for your partner and family to enjoy the experience as well."

Leila B., Arlington VA

​"While I eventually underwent a caesarean birth, Rachel's support was even more important in this situation... such a deviation from our planned birth needed someone with the experience and compassion of Rachel."

Elana M., Washington DC

​"Choosing Rachel to be our doula was the single best decision my husband and I made in preparation for the birth of our first child…. she brought so much knowledge, support, and, above all, positivity." 

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